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About Location History Analyzer

The Location History Analyzer was created in 2016 through a collaboration between Hack4Impact and Community Legal Services.

Your cell phone is tracking you. There are ways to tell it to stop, but most of us haven't. Both Android and iPhones track their users, however Android (and potentially iPhone users with Google apps on their phone) can download the tracking information about themselves or see it on a map. Try it: see if Google knows where you have been.

This tool was created to help generate court-usable evidence of a worker's work schedule for a particular employer. Many low-wage workers work off the books or work at an employer who doesn't accurately track their hours. This can make it difficult to figure out if that worker is a victim of wage theft and to figure out how much that worker may be owed. This tool can help.

A basic tenet of wage and hour law is that in the absence of accurate employer records (which they are required by law to keep), workers are able to produce whatever evidence they can that reasonably shows the amount of work performed. (Mt. Clemen's Pottery). Lawyers regularly rely on the testimony of their worker-clients or on the hand-kept records of those workers to prove an employer's liability.

But a worker's memory and credibility can be challenged, especially when that worker had hours that varied frequently, the worker worked for a period of years, or even when the worker worked extraordinary long hours that may test the bounds of belief. As well, a worker may legitimately not remember her exact schedule months or years after the fact. This tool can help to produce evidence that can supplement or corroborate the worker's memory.

This tool uses the data generated by an Android phone (and select iPhones that are tracking data to Google) to allow workers and their advocates to create an excel editable timesheet for a worker's work for a particular employer. As long as this worker had fixed work sites (a worker who worked in multiple fixed locations can use the tool, but a worker who regularly travels cannot), the worker can use this tool.

The tool takes as input a Google location history file (in geo-json format). You can download your own data here. It quickly analyzes the file and plots the individual's location history on a map. The worker or advocate can then draw a bounding box around each work location during the relevant time period. The tool then analyzes the map and boxes and creates a spreadsheet that is, in essence, a time log for that worker at the boxed locations.

One of the great features of the tool is that it does all of the analysis completely on your computer, in-browser. No data is ever uploaded outside of your computer, meaning that your private location data stays that way. The other key feature is that it uses information from a smartphone that most workers are already regularly carrying around with them. It doesn't require the worker to have pre-downloaded an app or to regularly update time in an app or on a paper schedule. As long as a worker carries a phone regularly, that worker likely has data usable by this tool.